[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Multiple members of a family are dead after an apparent murder-suicide in a northwest area of Harris County near Houston, Texas.
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, who first reported on the tragedy on Thursday, law enforcement officers responded to the scene of an apartment complex in the northwestern portion of the south Texas county. Once there, they discovered “four persons confirmed deceased inside,” according to a press release published by the government office.
Related: Missing Teen’s Remains Found After 13 Years; Suspect Is Charged With Rape And Murder
The HCSO, which first altered the public to the tragedy on their official Facebook page, noted that “a pistol” was recovered at the scene of the incident. Along with it, early investigative work into the deaths is looking into the possibility that it is a murder-suicide related to an ongoing contentious divorce between a man and woman.
The sheriff’s office reported in their Facebook post (below):
“It appears [the] estranged husband showed up at his wife’s apartment unit this morning. The male shot his wife, 4-yr-old daughter and his mother-in-law, then turned the gun on himself. All 4 pronounced deceased at the scene. … South Asian family, husband and wife had been going through a divorce in recent months. ”
In a media briefing later on Thursday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez spoke to local news outlets about the timing of the tragedy, and what detectives believe they already may know about the context around it. Speaking candidly to reporters, Sheriff Gonzalez said “there’s definitely a domestic-violence nexus” to the four deaths.
He also added more during that media briefing, which was held on Thursday evening outside the apartment complex where the shooting took place (below):
“It appears that for several months now, at least, this couple has possibly been going through divorce proceedings or some type of formal separation. There has been a history of some ongoing issues between the two – more recently, [there was] an allegation where the adult male possibly injured the young child, that would be his daughter. So we’re definitely gonna look into that as well. ”
Gonzalez said the man allegedly involved “possibly slashed” his estranged wife’s car tires in a prior incident, and police are apparently looking deeper into the history there.
When the wife failed to show up for work on Thursday morning, law enforcement moved quickly, according to the Sheriff. He told reporters:
“From the apparent observations that I just made right now, it appears that she was perhaps getting ready to go to work with the child when [she was] most likely confronted by the male party. ”
Our hearts break.
Here is more on the awful incident, from KHOU 11 News (below):
Such a terrible, terrible tragedy.
[Image via KHOU 11 News/YouTube]